An institutional scientific Ponzi scheme begins with a central seminal or foundational scientific fraud and is sometimes built on an infrastructure of smaller scientific frauds. Like the fake dividends issued in a strictly financial Ponzi scheme, a scientific Ponzi scheme issues fake dividends in the form of ongoing fraud-based research often framed as "breakthroughs" and bogus extrapolations which make it look like everything is above board and that what, in reality, is scientific fraud, appears to the rest of the scientific community and the public as good faith progress.
A classic scientific Ponzi scheme like the Montgnier-Agut HIV Fraud Ponzi Scheme and HHV-6 Cover-up include elements like these:
1. Nosological fraud.
2. Epidemiological fraud.
3. Virological fraud.
4. Treatment fraud.
5. Public health policy fraud.
6. Concealment of negative scientific data and paradigm-challenging anomalies.
7. Use of an elite network of "old boys" and pseudo-activist provocateurs to censor critics and whistleblowers.
8. Chronic obscurantism.
9. If necessary, vigilantism and witch-hunts against any intellectuals, scientists, or citizens who constitute any form of resistance to the Ponzi scheme.
10. A subservient scientific press that is used as a conveyor belt for the Ponzi scheme's propaganda.